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Chipperman
December 22, 2002, 10:20 PM
My father has an old Colt, that according to family legend, belonged to the Color Sergeant of The Rough Riders. I am trying to find any evidence that may support this dubious claim.

I will describe the gun, and would appreciate any info you may have for me.

It is a Colt, SN 198, xxx. (I think that puts it at 1898, right?)

The top of the 5 1/2" barrel reads "COLT'S PT. F A MFG Co HARTFORD CT. U.S.A."
The left side of the barrel reads "45 COLT"
The left side of the frame reads "PAT. SEPT. 19. 1871. JULY 2. 72. JAN. 19. 75.

The thing that bothers me a bit is that the grips appear to be plastic. I guess they are not original.

The leather holster with it has "Olive" stamped on it.

Thank You for any help,
Chip

Jim Watson
December 23, 2002, 12:10 AM
The Army was not buying SAAs in 1898; they were using the DA .38 Colt. Not to say it could not have been a private purchase by someone in an outfit like the Rough Riders, but there were a lot of Colts and only a few Rough Riders.

Contact Colt. A factory letter would get you such verifiable information as there may be. I don't know what they are charging now, but documentation on a first generation SA is probably worth the fee.

Mike Irwin
December 23, 2002, 01:58 AM
Many of the RoughRiders were Roosevelt's cronies, and many of them did provide their own sidearms. Some even provided their own horses and tack, I believe.

It's not inconceivable that one of them had a personally owned Colt.

4V50 Gary
December 23, 2002, 11:43 AM
Contact Colt for a letter. Probably cost you $150 for it. Then go get the muster roll of the Rough Riders (gotta be out there somewhere). Cross reference them and voila! Even if you don't get a match, the letter enhances the gun.

Chipperman
December 23, 2002, 09:16 PM
Guess I'l l write a ;letter to Colt.
$150, wow. I didn't think it would be that much. Oh well.
Thanks.

Guess I'll do it as a present for the Old Man. :)

4V50 Gary
December 24, 2002, 02:48 PM
I've got a Bisely I've got to spend the bucks on too. You're not the only one to balk. Got one letter for a 1911 that was customized by Bob Chow. Colt originally sold it to a distributor in Sacramento, CA. I tried to contact them for paperwork to show it went to Chow. They went out of business and the ATF has the records.

Johnny Guest
December 25, 2002, 12:25 AM
Chipperman, my copy of COLT--An American Legend by R. L. Wilson, shows that serial number 198XXX would fall in the range of SAA Colts produced in 1900. (Started at S/N 192000. 1901 began at 203000.)

If correct, this would not indicate that this revolver was not owned by the Color SGT indicated, only that he could not have carried it during the Spanish-American War.

In what shape is your father's revolver? If ANY original finish remains, please discourage any thoughts of having it refinished. Even an original gray or brown patina is preferable to a modern refinish, presuming it is a working or easily repaired firearm. Old SAAs are quite valuable to collectors, but quickly lose value if altered.

You say it has plastic stocks--Could this be the old "gutta percha," or hard rubber, which could well be original. If they are indeed plastic, original stocks may frequently be found at gun shows. Very authentic reproduction stocks are also available, They frequently require some fitting, but please, make sure any such is done to the stock panels, not removing any metal or metal finish.

What type leather holster? If it appears to be old military, or even old commercial, there is a lot of collector interest in these, as well.

Any way you could provide images of the revolver and holster?

Best regards,
Johnny

Chipperman
December 25, 2002, 09:59 PM
I left the holster at my father's house, so I don't have it with me.

I just cleaned the gun with MPro7 and soaked the gun with Slick 50 oil. There is not a ton of finish left on it, but certainly some. I took the grips off and, I think they may be a hard rubber, as you said. They are almost a brownish color. The bore actually looks pretty good.

The worst marks on the gun are gouges next to the cylinder pin that were caused by me as a kid. :o I could not get the pin out, and used pliers to do it. Stupid. My father has never taken much interest in the gun. Although I put the marks there, I was also the only one to clean the gun. I remember it being in much better shape 20 years ago.

I'll take some pics.

4V50 Gary
May 19, 2004, 09:56 PM
He may well have been a colour sergeant in the Rough Riders. He may not have had the Colt with him at the time though.